Links of Interest
Distance to Downtown Chicago
Average Drive Times
18 minutes to Chicago Loop
37 minutes to O’Hare Airport
20 minutes to Midway Airport
Washington Park is a residential neighborhood located on Chicago’s south side. Situated directly next to the historic Washington Park, the area is overflowing with history and culture. The prospect of Chicago as host of the 2016 Olympic Games has made the neighborhood and its real estate a leading candidate for redevelopment. Currently, Washington Park real estate is abundant with vintage apartment buildings and condos. In recent years, developers have begun to build single family homes as well as rehab apartments into condos. While there is a fair share of vacant lots in the neighborhood, the redevelopment of nearby Kenwood and Hyde Park makes Washington Park’s own renewal foreseeable in the near future—even if the Olympics end up somewhere else.
For some, Washington Park’s redevelopment was always inevitable due to its location next to the 372 acre park named after the first President of the United States. The park was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places and is the proposed site of the Olympic Stadium and swimming venue for Chicago’s 2016 bid. Designed in 1871 by the same architects that created Central Park, the green space is lush with lagoons, walking paths, and large playing fields. Washington Park is a south side social and cultural center and plays hosts to many festivals during the year. It also contains several sites worth noting, including the DuSable Museum of African American History, the Fountain of Time sculpture, and a National Guard armory. There are also numerous recreational sports leagues that play on the park’s grounds.
While retail has been struggling in Washington Park, the area does have its fair share of southern style eateries. An integral part of south side culture, Harold’s Chicken Shack is a franchise with dozens of locations and a unique style of flavorful fried chicken. For some great barbeque, both Rose BBQ and Miss Lee’s Good Food specialize in soul food. The cuisine at Richard’s Jamaica Club and Restaurant stretches even further south for its mix of Jamaican and American food.
Washington Park has made a name for itself in literature and culture. The famed Raisin in the Sun was inspired by the neighborhood, the Studs Lonigan trilogy is set in Washington Park, and a scene in Richard Wright’s Native Son takes place in the neighborhood. The previously mentioned Fountain of Time sculpture built by Lorado Taft was the first finished work of art made of concrete and is worth visiting.
Public transportation in Washington Park provides residents with an easy connection to nearby neighborhoods, the downtown area of Chicago, and the rest of the public transportation system. The Green Line of Chicago’s “El” train has three stops in Washington Park at Garfield Blvd., Hyde Park Blvd., and Martin Luther Kind Drive and connects riders to the Loop. The CTA’s bus system also transfers riders to the Loop and for drivers the area’s location makes it easy to hop on Lake Shore Drive, the Stevenson Expressway, the Dan Ryan Expressway, and the Eisenhower Expressway.